CrossFit Sweat Shop – Walnut Creek

From the Blog

Weekly WOD Insights 3/5/18


On Thursday evening, after the announcement of 18.2 I realized we had an odd number of 35lb. dumbbells at the gym…. and with heats starting the next day, I wanted to get one ASAP.  So I went to Target, and in true male fashion I opted not to get a shopping cart.  First thing I noticed is that weight feel exponentially heavier when you are in a store, versus in a gym, and in “gym-mode”… i.e. fired up on Philz Coffee!  The next thing I realized as I walked from the back of the store to the front of the store, was how different it was to carry just one DB, rather than two.  While the overall load is half (obviously), I felt as though my core had to work much harder to keep my torso and spine straight.  I then tested out 2 rounds of this AMRAP as part of my warmup for 18.2 on Friday afternoon, switching hands at the halfway point each time.  I think it’s a good one, especially for improving your awareness, not necessarily going to be the most intense WOD you’ll do.  My recommendation is to walk a little slower and be more deliberate with maintaining perfect posture.  As a whole, think about moving perfectly throughout this entire workout, rather than simply accumulating rounds!

As for the row, I used to hate rowing…. because I was really bad.  While I’m still not great, I don’t hate it anymore.  Just like anything else, if you practice it, you will improve, and with a lot of things, as you see improvement, you begin to enjoy it more.  But more importantly, I now see the benefits of the rower (and the ski erg AND the Assualt Bike) as a tool for improving fitness with no impact and no eccentric load, both of which can take a toll on the body when done repetitively.  For the 2K row, set the damper low, less than 5 or less (damper of 1 or 2 on the ski erg), focus on getting a full drive with the legs, then hips, and lastly, pulling with the arms, take your time as you return back to the start. Stroke rate should be slower than when rowing for calories. 

A.) 11 minute AMRAP:
10 KB Swings 53/35 (ADV. 12 @ 70/44) (BEEF 15 @ 70/53)
70m Single Arm Farmer Carry w/ KB
10 Double Unders (ADV. 20) (BEEF 40)

B.) 2K Row (or 2K Ski, or 5K Bike)
*compare 1/8/18


For those with a year or less of experience with the Olympic lifts, I strongly recommend sticking with the 2 reps on the minute.  You are free to increase weight as you go, but the focus is on moving perfectly.  If as the weight increases you feel yourself more hesitant to pull under on the clean, or increasingly pressing out the bar on the jerk, go back down in weight.  For ADV. the goal is to start at a challenging load, and stay there for all 12 sets.  For part B., select a weight that at most you would only need to break once, perhaps after 5 reps as you switch to the other hand.

A.) 2 Clean & Jerks on the minute for 12 minutes (ADV. 1 on the minute @ approx. 80-85% 1RM)

B.) 9 min. AMRAP
10 Single Arm Dumbbell Thruster 45/25 (ADV. 50/35) (BEEF 55/40 or KB 53/35)
10 Box Jump Overs


Kipping pullups can be good, but as with all gymnastic movements, strength is the foundation.  While the chin getting up AND over the bar is an absolute must, try and maintain a tight position as close to hollow as possible, gluetes squeezed, ribcage pulled down. Use a band if necessary, switch to a chin up grip if you like, and while I recommend it for everyone, it’s especially important for those using a band to wrap their thumbs AROUND the bar, rather than on top of the bar.  For the pushups, keep the elbows tight to the sides and break BEFORE you reach failure.  If you need to modify, go off a box, rather than your knees, and make certain you’re still getting the full range of motion. 

A.) Alternating EMOM 8 minutes:
Even  30 second hollow hold
Odd 8 scapular protration pushups & 8 scap depression hanging from pullup bar


20 minute AMRAP

3 Strict Pullups (ADV.4) (BEEF 5)
6 Pushups (ADV.8) (BEEF 10)
12 DB Snatch 45/25 (ADV. 16 @ 50/35) (BEEF 20 alternating @ 50-55/35-40)

*at minute 9 perform a 600m Run, then, pick up AMRAP where you left off.  BEEF strict pull-ups switch to 5 Bar MU, ADV. has the option to switch strict pull-ups to 1+ Bar MU


This is the third time doing this part B.  I really like it because it’s relatively low skill, and there’s enough variety for it to still be fun.  Push the row pace close to your best 1000m (or 500m pace), or just go for a PR row, then embrace the suck for running.
A.) Front Squat
across approx. 80% 1 RM

500m Row
200m Medball Carry
403m Run

1000m Row
200m Double Medball Carry
403m Run
*compare 11/9/17 & 7/20/16


This is also the third time doing this one.  I really like the mental game that plays out during this workout.  With ascending reps it’s always a challenge to stay focused and fight the negative self-talk, but with 200m jog, and the reps going back to 5’s it’s like tagging in your partner who is nice and fresh, ready to go, and full of positivity!  This time I’ve added the option HSPU instead of shoulder to overhead since they don’t come up at any other time during the week. 


AMREP 18 minutes, compare 9/4/17, 11/18/17
5 Shoulder to Overhead 95/65 (ADV. 115/75) (BEEF DB’s 50/35 or HSPU)
5 Deadlift
5 Box Jump Overs
200m Run
start back at 5’s


It’s too bad so many people will be doing CrossFit Open 18.3 on Saturday and not this workout… this is a fun one!  JB originally programmed this back in January and it’s another one of his partner workouts that has both people working at all times.  I did it with Steph, with the bike, and it was really fun as each transition was different depending on what movement you would step into coming off the bike!  It was also clear that each of us had our preferred movements and it was just another variable that kept my mind off the clock and thus the time went by really quick.
22 min. AMRAP – partner workout *compare 1/20/18

-Partners choose to either to either Row 400m, Bike 1k, or 400m Ski for the entire workout.
-One teammate does the cardio while the other works the AMRAP, once the teammate returns from cardio, they switch tasks. Partners must alternate the cardio portions and the score will be one AMRAP.

7 Pullups (ADV+Beef: C2B)
7 Power Cleans 95/65 115/75 135/95
7 Lunges 95/65 115/75 135/95


As much crap as Dave Castro gets for his smugness, at least one good thing has come of him, and that is we have gotten a lot more dumbbells at the Sweat Shop now.  With that, we can program them in WODs a bit more, just as we used to years ago when we had far fewer members.  This one is(slightly adjusted) from 2011.  For those doing the version with the dumbbells make sure to receive the clean with the rear head of the dumbbells on or behind the shoulders, otherwise it will likely pull your torso forward and put you in an inefficient position that taxes your back and your arms far more than it should.  Break the toes to bar from the start how you would foresee the last few reps being performed.

4 Rounds
403m Run
10 Hanging Knee Raises or Situps
10 Double Unders or 30 Single Unders
10 Thrusters 95/65

800m Run
18 DB Squat Clean to Overhead 45/25
35 Double Unders
35 Toes to Bar
800m Run
18 DB Squat Clean to Overhead

800m Run
21 DB Squat Clean to Overhead 50/35
50 Double Unders
50 Toes to Bar
800m Run
21 DB Squat Clean to Overhead



About Nabil

Owner and coach at CrossFit Sweat Shop since opening in 2009.


  1. Jacqueline Janet - March 4, 2018 7:19 pm

    love the photo! 🙂

  2. Big Mike - March 4, 2018 9:29 pm

    I really appreciate the thoughtful programming and the way it’s analyzed each week. Speaking of Dave Castro, he could learn a thing or two from all of you. So far the Open workouts have left me sore, tired and uninspired. Maybe they’ll improve. I do know one thing, training at Sweatshop each day is what I prefer.

  3. DJ Lynam - March 5, 2018 10:09 pm

    I loved that story about the target experience. I experienced something similar the other night while carrying my laundry from my car into Britneys house and my entire midline was lit up from the unilateral, odd object carry. Im considering buying an array of laundry baskets for the sweat shop and having people load them with dumbbells and weight plates. Effectively replacing the old fashioned kettlbell or dumbbell carry. This is as good as it gets when it comes to functional fitness in my eyes.

    All jokes aside I really like the programming this week. The usage of strict and new movements is a nice change of pace. Sad its during the Open week but I might just have to forego the rest day!


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